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Fenway Bowl: SMU vs. Boston College Expert Pick and Prediction – December 28, 2023

Fenway Bowl: SMU vs. Boston College Expert Pick and Prediction – December 28, 2023

FENWAY BOWL: SMU VS. BOSTON COLLEGE EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – December 28, 2023 — The script couldn’t be more perfect for SMU as it prepares to enter life in the ACC. The Mustangs get to end the most successful season they’ve had in four decades with a winnable game against a future conference opponent — and one that really doesn’t have much motivation to be here.

Boston College played the season like its entire goal was to get six wins and nothing else. Once the Eagles hit that modest mark, they didn’t play well again for the rest of the season. In their final two home games against middling Virginia Tech and Miami, the Eagles got squashed by a combined 93-44. In between, they found a way to lose at Pittsburgh, which went 2-6 in the league.

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There’s one issue for the Mustangs: they’ve got to play without quarterback Preston Stone. But they’ve already shown they can do that, as they managed to win the American Conference title game on Tulane’s field with Kevin Jennings under center. If the defense holds up, they should come into the ACC off the strength of a 12-win season.

The Odds

Matchup Open Spread Points Moneyline

(11-2 SU, 8-5 ATS)

-10 -10.5 O47.5 -375
Boston College

(8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS) 

U51 +10.5 U47.5 +295


When: Thursday, December 28th at Noon EST

Where: Fenway Park, Boston


Public Bets: 54% on Boston College

Public Money: 76% on SMU

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of December 26th, 2023.

SMU vs. Boston College In-Season Trends

The Mustangs were an under team for the first half of the season until the books got wise to the defense. They then became an over team, playing out five of six to the over and missing the sixth by one point until Tulane broke the streak. SMU sidn’t get held under 36 points in that six-game stretch, and on three occasions, the Mustangs hit the number by themselves.

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BC covered just once in its final four games, basically doing just enough to qualify for a bowl game. The Eagles went over in each of their first seven games, but when they stopped doing their part, the unders started showing up. The Eagles only went over twice in their last five games, because they never scored more than 22 points in any of those five contests.


As long as the field stays covered in the morning, the weather shouldn’t be an issue. There will be some early rain, but the temperature will hit 65 degrees once the game gets going.

The Difference-Makers

Boston College quarterback Thomas Castellanos has been far more successful with his legs than his arm in 2023. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

One team in the American moved the ball successfully on SMU: Memphis. And the Tigers did that for one reason: they could throw the football. BC will have to try to do that, but Thomas Castellanos is more of a runner than a thrower.

He did throw for 2,146 yards, but he had almost as many interceptions (13) as he did touchdowns (15). He kept the ball 194 times and scored 11 times, meaning the ball is much safer without traveling through the air.

Jaylan Knighton has to give Jennings some help. SMU doesn’t want this to turn into a shootout; they’d prefer to have Knighton run the ball and chew up yards to put pressure on BC. The Mustangs aren’t at full strength, but the current offense can still produce.

The Pick

It’s a lot of points, and that makes me nervous. But BC is really not a good team. The Eagles managed to get bowl eligible by beating several bad teams without looking very impressive in the process.

Plus, SMU has motivation. The Mustangs know they’re the team that bought their way into the ACC, which has some members thinking that they don’t belong in the league. The best way to change minds is to come up with a big performance against a future league rival.

Dan’s Picks  

 SMU -10.5 

 Boston College TTU 19.5  



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